Blogs > Millennial Traveler

New and traditional ways of exploring the globe, and your own backyard.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Top 10 Capital District Blizzard of 2015 Posts

It's being hailed as the blizzard that never was in many parts of New England. Winter Storm Juno was expected to have "historic" snowfall which resulted in transportation closures, most notably in the New York City.

While many coastal areas did get a foot of snow or more, many of us awoke on Tuesday to nothing more than a dusting which would eventually become a few inches of fluffy, powder.

I enjoyed people's initial reactions and overall observations. I wanted to share my favorite memes, Facebook and Twitter posts.

Here they are, with one honorable mention as well:

10) Srsly...

9) "Blizzards" with "laser beams"...

8) Nice commentary on contemporary issues...

7) Next!

6) I liked this, but I did see it a bit too much on FB

5) aHa!

4) Gotta love Wait, Wait...

3) Oh, let's throw another ball joke in here for good measure

2) Right?

1) This was creative and funny, though I think some took it literally.

Honorable Mention to those non-disgruntled, non-snarky folks out there who ended up enjoying the snow we did get:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Castro Talks U.S. Cooperation, But Still Does Not "Trust the Politics of the United States"

Good read today from the NYT:

Friday, January 23, 2015

SkyMall Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Upcoming flights may be a little less interesting with SkyMall filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The topic is currently trending on Twitter with many paying homage to the odd and yet sometimes weirdly useful items in the catalog that was usually found in airline seat pockets.

SkyMall is known for carrying mostly (Ok, pretty much all) stuff that you don't really need but, for some reason or another, you kinda want.

What was your favorite SkyMall item over the years?

(from SkyMall online store)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Distillery and B&B Hit it Out of the Park with Baseball-Themed Foodies Getaway in Cooperstown

Prepare your taste buds, new artisanal spirits and gourmet food pairings provide ‘Spring Training’ for enthusiasts

COOPERSTOWN, NY /January 20, 2015 _ The Inn at Cooperstown and the Cooperstown Distillery hit a home run with their baseball-themed artisanal drinks and gourmet food pairings. Just in time for Spring Training the duo have teamed up to offer avid foodies a unique experience with the Lodging and Libations package. This is a limited time doubleheader that runs two weekends: March 13-14 and April 17-18, 2015.

The line-up includes gourmet meals paired with the Cooperstown Distillery’s all-stars, like: Beanball Bourbon, Abner Doubleday's Double Play Vodka and Classic American Whiskey, and others.

Lucy Townsend, esteemed Cooperstown caterer and owner of L.M. Townsend Catering, has been called in from the bullpen to create a gourmet multi-course dinner to compliment the spirits.
The package also includes a VIP after-hours tour and tasting at the Cooperstown Distillery, round-trip transport to the distillery and two nights lodging at The Inn at Cooperstown, among other perks outlined below.

The Lodging and Libations Package includes:
·      2 Nights lodging at The Inn at Cooperstown
·      A VIP, after-hours tour and tasting at the Cooperstown Distillery
·      A “Get in the Spirits” gourmet, multi-course dinner at the Cooperstown Distillery
·      1 Bottle of Vodka, Gin, or Bourbon from the Cooperstown Distillery
·      1 Cooperstown Distillery logo glass per person
·      Transportation to/from the Cooperstown Distillery on Saturday evening
·      5% Discount coupon for dinner at Nicoletta’s Italian Cafe
Package cost starts at $625 for double occupancy. This experience is available March 13-14 and April 17-18, 2015.

About The Inn at Cooperstown
The Inn at Cooperstown has the distinction of being on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also an award winning member of Select Registry and TripAdvisor. Located in the heart of idyllic Cooperstown, New York, the 18-room inn is less than two blocks from The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, one of the country’s premiere attractions. It is also within walking distance to boutique shops, antique stores, and restaurants; and a trolley ride to the local Farmers’ Museum, where exhibits, a recreated village and costumed staff depict life over 150 years ago. Nearby, Fenimore Art Museum displays a premier collection of American Indian art, American paintings and folk art. Beyond the village, you will find Glimmerglass Opera, the Glimmerglass State Park and many other treasures.

The Inn at Cooperstown is located at 16 Chestnut Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326. To make a reservation call 607-547-5756 or visit Also at:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

National Postal Museum in Washington D.C. Announces New Exhibition Opening

Exhibition Devoted Entirely to African American History
“Freedom Just Around the Corner: Black America from Civil War to Civil Rights,” opening Feb. 12 at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, is the museum’s first exhibition devoted entirely to African American history. Marking 150 years since the end of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery throughout the United States, the exhibition chronicles the African American experience through the perspective of stamps and mail.
The exhibition includes letters carried by enslaved Americans, mail sent by and to leaders of the civil rights movement and original artwork for numerous stamps issued by the United States Postal Service. More than 100 items from the museum’s collection are on display, augmented by outstanding pieces on loan from other institutions and private collections.

“The exhibition is powerful and presents a distinctive perspective to the history that unfolded during this important period of time,” said Allen Kane, director of the museum. “Our hope is that visitors will learn more about this historic period, connect emotionally to the stories and objects we are presenting and continue to have meaningful conversations beyond the museum visit.”
Before the introduction of home mail delivery, slaves often carried letters to and from the post office. Slave-carried mail was usually identified by a notation—called an endorsement—that also served as a travel pass. These mail messengers could be an important source of news if they overheard discussions during their travels. Slaves sometimes carried letters directly to the recipient, bypassing the postal system entirely. This was often the case when the letter was accompanied by a parcel, since post offices did not handle domestic package mail until 1913.
The exhibition, in part, presents examples of slave-carried mail, including one carried by a slave named Susan, dated April 17, 1850, with the message, “I send to you my negro girl Susan aged 16 all rite and a first rate girl big limbs and muscles please sell her and remit...”

Susan was probably unaware that the letter she carried to the Eastville, Va., post office contained arrangements for her to be sold to a slave dealer in Richmond.
Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was commemorated in the Postal Service’s Celebrate the Century stamp series issued at the end of the 20th century. Original artwork for the stamp, by Keith Birdsong, reflects a trace of brightness on the horizon to represent hope, while King wears the March’s official badge, in one of many stunning paintings on display from the Postal Service’s Black Heritage stamp series. Most of the artwork is exhibited for the very first time.
“‘Freedom’ provides a unique take on African American history, exploring the subject through stamps and mail,” said Daniel Piazza, exhibit curator. “We hope this approach inspires new audiences to visit the National Postal Museum and William H. Gross Stamp Gallery.”

Selected pieces in the exhibition will include interpretation presented through audio recordings of curators, conservators and guest speakers, adding significance to individual objects. A special website and catalog will augment the exhibition as well, providing additional access to the rich content presented.
The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue N.E., Washington, D.C., across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). For more information about the Smithsonian, call (202) 633-1000 or visit the museum website at

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Free Lecture Series at New York State Museum in Albany

I wanted to share this really interesting free lecture series at the New York State Museum. There are five Wednesday events coming up later this month, in February, and in March.

The topics include: The Naima site on Long Island, fossils, a biology collections tour, agricultural evolution, geological history, and human ancestors.

Here's more info:

NYS Museum Research and Collections Wednesday Evening Lectures
January - March 2014
Huxley Theater • Adults • Free
Naima Site
Naima Site
The Naima Site, Long Island
Wednesday, January 21 • 7–8 p.m
The Naima Site is an archaeological site located in Hauppauge, NY that was investigated by the New York State Museum's Cultural Resource Survey Program (CRSP). Archaeological work there has yielded both prehistoric and historic remains, including portions of the "Major 'Nezer House." Daniel Mazeau, a Principal Investigator (Archaeology) with CRSP, will summarize the work conducted at the Naima Site, highlighting the process of archaeological interpretation and some observations regarding its occupation.


Femur, Cohoes Mastodon
Femur, Cohoes Mastodon
Investigating Famous Fossils from Foreign (and Domestic) Lands to Understand the Ecological Consequences of Climate Change
Wednesday, February 4 • 7–8 p.m.

Dr. Robert S. Feranec, Curator of Mammals and Pleistocene Vertebrate Paleontology, will discuss his work investigating how the effects of past climate changes can inform us today. He will highlight on-going work being conducted in New York as well as in Atapuerca, a World Heritage locality in Spain that contains some of the earliest evidence of humans in Europe.

Behind The Scenes: Biology Collections Tour
Wednesday, February 11 • 4:00-5:30 p.m.

Free and open to the public, kids and adults welcome. 
**Pre-registration required (see below).
Participation is limited to 30 people.
Meet at the main desk in the NYSM lobby at 4:00.
The NYSM collections of biological specimens include over 230,000 specimens of plants, 20,000 birds, 15,000 mammals, 15,000 vertebrate fossils, and over a million insects! Celebrate Charles Darwin's Birthday by taking a behind-the-scenes tour of our research collections and labs led by our staff of Curators and Collections Managers. See specimens of rare and extinct species collected as long ago as the 1840s, and learn how these collections are used by researchers and educators across New York State and beyond.

**Space is limited! Please register with Nicole LaFountain at 518.474.0575 or email

Warming, Cooling and Agricultural Evolution
Wednesday, February 18 • 7–8 p.m
The classic expression of Native American agriculture in temperate northeastern North America is the three sisters — maize, common bean and squash. As a result of interactions with human populations and sub-regional environments, each crop had its own unique evolutionary history. Learn more about how crop varieties and agricultural management systems evolved over the centuries across the Northeast at this special lecture.


Where North America Almost Broke Apart–Northern New York
Wednesday, March 4 • 7–8 p.m
In this talk, learn about a newly recognized geological history in northern New York and southern Canada in the interval of 560–510 million years ago. A thousand mile-long subsiding feature first developed in northern New York and adjacent areas 560 million years ago and then "mysteriously" began sinking again 510 million years ago–dragging northern New York and Vermont down in the process.

Hominid Fossils
Photo: Javier Trueba
Investigations at Atapuerca (Spain): Insights into Our Human Ancestors
Wednesday, March 18 • 7–8 p.m.
The Sierra de Atapuerca, a World Heritage Site in northern Spain, has yielded an incredible amount of fossil remains including some of the earliest humans known from Europe. This lecture will highlight the incredible fossils discovered at the site focusing on our human ancestors.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Brooklyn Man Almost Flew on Delta Flight from Cleveland Solo

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to basically be the only person on a plane? Well, check out this guy's Tweets, via Buzzfeed.

(from Buzzfeed/Twitter)

But, spoiler alert....

Just as the plane was about to head out, another passenger ended up boarding. So close.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Cadbury Creme Eggs Recipe Changed in U.K.

UPDATE: Not changing in the U.S., according to the Huffington Post.

According to The Mirror, the Cadbury Creme Eggs in the United States this season will not be made with actual Cadbury chocolate. Instead, it will be with a regular cocoa mix.

To be clear, I *love* these creme eggs as much as the next person - possibly even more. They're delicious. Horrible for you. But delicious. And, they're really fun to hide and find at the Grown Up Egg Hunt.

Also, to be clear and honest, I've never really been a big fan of Cadbury chocolate. In fact, I may go as far as to say it's a bit overrated (sorry, England). Of all the chocolates in all the world, Cadbury has never really been among my top favorites (I'm more of a Lindt, Gertrude Hawk, Milka - kinda girl).

With that said, I am interested to see how this new combination tastes. If it is horrible, well....that'll be dealt with in another blog.

I will say, if they ever change their creme recipe there will likely be hell to pay.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Camping at Hither Hills State Park, and NYS Announces Winners of 2014 Camping Photo Contest

With single-digit temps outside, I just keep thinking about warmer times.

Friends and I have booked a long weekend in late May at Hither Hills NYS Park for some basically-beach-front camping in Montauk, Long Island/The Hamptons. (Annoyingly, it's the same weekend as my 10th SLU reunion but it's also the only summer weekend available for camping at this park.)

So, maybe I'll submit my own photo for the contest next year.

Though I did always like this one I took at Sampson State Park, a Finger Lakes trip I blogged about as well.

Here's the NYS press release with a link to the winning camping photos:

Images Capture the Beauty of the Outdoors

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Thursday announced the winners of the 2014 Camping Photo Contest showcasing New York’s scenic outdoors.  State Parks and DEC selected one grand prize winner and six category finalists from more than 2,200 submissions.  
Kate Montgomery of Rome, NY is the grand prize winner with her submission of a starry night at Keewaydin State Park in the Thousand Islands.  Montgomery will receive a $250 camping gift card, a tent, outdoor accessories, a wildlife guide and subscription to the Conservationist. In addition, her winning image will be featured in the 2015 New York State Camping Guide and on various websites.   

(Kate Montgomery of Rome, NY's winning camping photo)

The top images in each of the six categories include:
  • Amanda Morris of Piscataway, NJ (Rollins Pond - Outdoor Activities/Watersports);
  • Lisa Barnes of Boiling Springs, PA, (Buttermilk Falls State Park - Points of Interest/Scenic Views);
  • Elinor Hickey of Fairport, NY (Forked Lake Campground - Sunrise/Sunset);
  • Alyssa Wisniewski of Rochester, NY (Allegany State Park – Seasons);
  • Dawn Seitz of Canandaigua, NY (Fair Haven Beach State Park - Nature); and
  • James Sickler of Buffalo, NY (Buck Pond Campground - Camping Life). 
Each finalist will receive a $50 camping gift card and an outdoor experience package which includes a tent, knapsack, a water bottle, a subscription to theConservationist and a copy of the New York Wildlife Viewing Guide. 
The grand-winning and finalist photographs can be viewed here.
“The sheer volume of high-quality and engaging images we received during the contest underscores just how captivating and photogenic New York’s public lands are,” said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. “From sharing special family memories around the campfire to capturing the beauty of the outdoors in all four seasons, the entries clearly portray why camping is so popular among New Yorkers and visitors of all ages.  Congratulations to the seven winners and thanks to all who participated for making this contest fun and competitive.” 
“The camping and outdoor recreation areas across New York State provide an ideal background for anyone capturing a special memory, and the entries to our 2014 photo contest illustrate this beautifully,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “From exciting wildlife sightings and spectacular views to outdoor adventures and family traditions, the photo submissions allow everyone to enjoy a glimpse of what's possible in New York. It is our hope that the photos will serve as a reminder to our loyal customers of just how special New York State is while attracting new visitors to all we have to offer."

ReserveAmerica/ACTIVE Network conducted the contest for amateur photographers, which ran Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day. State Parks and DEC selected the seven winners through public views, comments and committee selection. Further details regarding contest rules, eligibility, and the prizes are available at
“The 2014 camping photo contest is a shining example of the visitation efforts we’ve helped support throughout our partnership with New York,” said Gary Evans, General Manager, ACTIVE Network, Outdoors. “The thousands of images submitted reflect people enjoying all that New York state parks and campgrounds have to offer. The photos engaged visitors throughout the camping season, inspiring them to get outdoors to create their own experiences and unforgettable memories.” 
New York offers 15,500 state-operated campsites for tents and RVs as well as nearly 800 cabins, cottages, yurts and a lighthouse available for rental. Campers can choose from tranquil tent sites tucked amid the woods to boat-access only waterfront sites to multi-room cottages, and everything in between.  Many state campgrounds are conveniently located near day-use parks, trails, historic sites, golf courses and other family-friendly destinations offering adventure and relaxation of all kinds.  
Information about any of the campgrounds, a digital version of the camping guide, links to virtual tours of select properties and reservations can be found at

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

USA Today: Skylagged and Hidden City Airfare Trick

Definitely an interesting and must-read for my fellow travelers about and the "hidden city airfare" trick for cheaper rates.

Dodgeball League at Flight Trampoline Park in Albany

Think you can dodge, dip, dive, duck with the best of them? Well, the Flight Trampoline Dodgeball League may be for you.
The league starts on January 20 and you/your team have a chance at winning $800, with a runner up prize of $400 - which will cover your league registration (due by Jan. 13, by the way).

Here's more info about the Flight Trampoline  program which I conveniently found in my Gmail promotions inbox:

Get your friends together, for the ultimate Flight Challenge. For 8 weeks you can join in on a competitive, fun, unique way to experience our trampoline park. It all begins, Tuesday, January 20th!
  • Every team will play each Tuesday at a scheduled time between 7-9pm
  • All teams must have 6-8 players
  • There is a team fee of $400 that must be paid before the league begins
  • Participants must be 14 years of age and older
  • Winning team walks away with $800, with a runner up cash prize of $400
* All teams need to have forms and payment in NO LATER than Tuesday, January 13th. Act fast, we can only allow so many teams. 

If you like to get in shape in thinking-outside-the-gym ways, you may also like the Flight Trampoline fitness classes.

And it seems the new trampoline park in Albany - SkyZone - also offers dodge ball.

Just don't be that guy...

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Albany Institute to Offer Free Admission on Martin Luther King Jr Day

ALBANY, NY – The Albany Institute of History & Art will offer free admission to the museum on Monday, January 19 from 10AM-5PM.  This Holiday Monday free admission day is sponsored by M&T Bank.

The whole family will enjoy the drop-in art making project featuring fabric collage inspired by the current exhibition Undercover: Revealing Design in Quilts, Coverlets, and Bed Hangings. Drop-in art making will be from 10AM-4:30PM in the art studio.

Guests of all ages are invited to spend the day viewing the current exhibitions, including the 2014 Exhibition by Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region (closing day); a mini-exhibition about Hudson River School founder Thomas Cole; and Undercover: Revealing Design in Quilts, Coverlets, and Bed Hangings. Additional exhibitions include, The Hudson River School and the Nineteenth-Century Landscape; Traders and Culture: Colonial Albany and the Formation of American Identity; Nineteenth-Century American Sculpture: Erastus Dow Palmer and His Protégés Launt Thompson, Charles Calverley, and Richard Park; Robert Hewson Pruyn: An Albanian in Japan, 1862-1865; and A Gather of Glass: Selections from the Museum’s Collection. A gallery tour, led by a trained museum docent, will start at 1PM and is also free.

The Albany Institute is open Wednesday-Saturday 10AM-5PM,Thursday until 8PM, and Sunday Noon-5PM. On Tuesdays, the museum is open to registered groups only. The museum is closed on Mondays and some holidays. Admission is FREE for Albany Institute members; $10/adults; $8/seniors and students with ID; $6/children 6-12; FREE/children under 6. Thursday evenings (5PM-8PM) are now FREE at the Albany Institute! For more information and a listing of our upcoming events, please visit or call(518) 463-4478.

Monday, January 5, 2015

19th-Century Lithographs Explored at The Hyde

Glens Falls, NY – Opening to the public on Saturday, January 10, 2015,Stone Palette: Lithographs in 19th-Century France, explores lithography as a creative medium. The thirty-one prints in this exhibition, from The Hyde’s Tobin Sparling Family Collection, demonstrates a wide variety of styles and techniques typical of the nineteenth-century expressed in this newand exciting medium of the day.
Very early examples of color lithography, as well as black and white prints which span the century, are on view. The Stone Palette is a virtual survey of many of the important French artists of the century who found new levels of creative freedom by creating lithographic prints.The exhibition also contains a nineteenth-century lithographic stone with an idealized image of “Justice” drawn on its surface as if ready for printing.

The term lithography comes from the Greek, lithos “stone” and grapho “to write,” thus “to write on stone.” The process of “chemical printing” (as the inventor called it) is just that, “writing (drawing) on stone.” Lithography was invented by Alois Senefelder in Austria in 1798 and patented as a printing medium in 1799. Originally devised by Senefelder as a process for printing theater scripts, it saw dramatic investigation and refinement in the early nineteenth century as both a commercial printing process and as a means for artists to print directly from their drawings to make limited edition prints.
Improvements in lithographic drawing materials and chemical processes were made in France largely as the Godefroy Engelmann, German (1788-1839), working in France , Monkey and Dog, ca. 1817, lithograph, 11 7/8 x 9 7/8 in.,           The Hyde Collection, The Sparling Family Collection, 2014.2.25

result of experimentation by Godefroy Engelmann (represented in the exhibition) who moved his press from Mulhouse, Germany to Paris in 1816.  As a result of his efforts and others, the media become very attractive to artists in particular. For the first time, a printmaking media offered the artist the immediacy of drawing on paper and the flexibility to explore a wide range of visual effects. The popularity of artists such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha, and Théodore Géricault exploded along with their exuberant images, fostering a revival in the interest of prints as affordable works of art for the middle class.
Lithography offered uniquely different opportunities for creative expression when compared to wood cut and intaglio techniques, the two major printmaking methods of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This exhibition is curated by Hyde director Charles Guerin and will be in The Hyde Collection’s Hoopes Gallery fromJanuary 10 – March 15, 2015
The Stone Palette is made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
The Hyde Collection is an art museum complex and historic house consisting of a distinguished collection of works by American and European artists such as Botticelli, Rubens, Rembrandt, Picasso, Homer and Eakins, as well as important decorative arts and antique furnishings. The collection continues to grow through gift and purchase, and today it numbers around 3,300 works with an emphasis on the art of the twentieth century. The Museum provides changing exhibitions in two gallery spaces, lectures, concerts, family activities and school programming. For detailed information visit or call 518-792-1761.